Tarangire Safari Lodge: Our full report
Tarangire Safari Lodge is a substantial family-owned and managed lodge set 10km inside the main gate of Tarangire ...... National Park. Originally built in 1970, it is the oldest lodge in the park, and its position on the escarpment ridge gives it impressive views over the baobab and acacia woodlands down to the Tarangire River; it also places it in the heart of the park's busiest area.
The main areas at Tarangire Safari Lodge are characterised by rather imposing thatched roofs, which house a central lounge/bar area where chunky wooden chairs and coffee tables. The views from here are impressive and it provides a good place to relax. A stone veranda wraps around this central area and has truly stunning views; it's a very peaceful spot to enjoy a sundowner, and a drinks and snack station is set up here in the evening, with plentiful seating to sit and watch the sunset. The dining room, just off the main lounge/bar area, is fairly large and perfectly adequate, if a little soulless.
Outside the main entrance there is a shaded area that has informative noticeboards and a very detailed map of the park. Tarangire Safari Lodge also has a small but very stocked shop selling a range of curios and travel essentials, and a swimming pool surrounded by sunloungers, which are very welcome in the heat of the day. There's also a slide into the pool which the children were enjoying on our last visit.
The "rooms" at Tarangire Safari Lodge consist of 35 tents and five bungalows, divided into two wings of 13 tents on the right of the main area, and five bungalows and the rest of the tents on the left.
Each of the tents is suspended under thatch and is fairly simple. The beds can be either doubles or twins, and you'll find a writing desk and a canvas luggage rack. The basic bathroom is at the back of the tent, behind a zipped canvas partition. Here there is a single sink, a large hot and cold shower and a flushing toilet, these last separated by a curtain for privacy.
The circular bungalows are constructed from stone and thatch, and each houses three beds, so they're a good option for families. They have spacious bathrooms with proper closing doors, and the windows are glass slats covered with mosquito gauze, so you can open them to let in the breeze. The bungalows are large enough that extra beds can be added to make a triple or quadruple room.
All these rooms at Tarangire Safari Lodge are kitted out with basic toiletries, a torch, insect repellent, a whistle for attracting attention and an umbrella.
It's worth noting that the lodge tries hard to be wheelchair friendly for active, disabled visitors, and most of their rooms and communal areas are on one level.
In 2013 the lodge added a spa – effectively a small room with a massage table – which offers a range of massages and treatments overlooking the Tarangire River. Massages start from $30 for 30 minutes and go up to $70 for 90 minutes. Yoga classes are also available, and with spa treatments, guests should enquire about these on arrival.
The size of Tarangire Safari Lodge means it is impersonal compared with some of the smaller bush camps, especially as it is a popular choice with some larger tour groups. However, the lodge is considerably less costly than other options in the park, and so offers a good choice for those on a budget. The tents are basic but comfortable and the atmosphere is relaxed. It has a lovely location with stunning views – but this is a busy area where you'll see a lot of other vehicles and visitors. It is well geared for children, so could be a great option for families on a budget.
- Tarangire National Park, Tanzania
- Ideal length of stay
- 2–3 nights to explore the Tarangire River area. Many lower-budget safaris stop here for just one night; we think that would be far too rushed for comfort – and would restrict all drives to the busy area around the lodge.
- The lodge is around a 30 minute drive from the main park gates. It is approximately 2.5 hours drive from Arusha.
- Accessible by
Food & drink
- Usual board basis
- Full Board
- Food quality
- Meals at Tarangire Safari Lodge are all self-service buffets, although many guests opt to take a boxed lunch out with them rather than return to the lodge in the middle of the day. The lodge describes their food as 'international cuisine', and whilst we felt that they were trying hard, we found the dinner selection a little uninspiring and the quality variable on our last stay in October 2018. Soup, salad, grilled meat and fish were available on the buffet, and for desert we were we served individual portions of passion fruit mousse and apple cake at our table. The breakfast selection was good, with all the hot and cold choices you’d expect; from cereals, fruit and a cold meat platter, to an egg and pancake station..
The lodge can cater for special dietary requirements with advance notice.
Complimentary tea and coffee are available throughout the day at the bar.
- Dining style
- Individual Tables
- Dining locations
- Indoor Dining
- Further dining info, including room service
- Not possible.
- Drinks included
- Drinks are an extra cost. Expect to pay around $5 for a beer and $2 for soft drinks.
- Attitude towards children
- The camp welcomes children.
- Property’s age restrictions
- There is no minimum age at Tarangire Safari Lodge.
- Special activities & services
- Tarangire Safari Lodge serves a special children's meal at an earlier time. They also have a pool with a slide and child minding can be arranged.
- They can provide cots and highchairs on request.
- Generally recommended for children
- Tarangire Safari Lodge is well geared towards children. However, it's important to note that the camp is still wild, and game does wander through – so we'd only recommend it for mature children over the age of 8.
- Parents must note that children are their responsibility, and should be supervised at all times. Due to the lcose proximity of wildlife, children should never walk around the lodge unaccompanied - even in the day.
Our travellers’ wildlife sightings from Tarangire Safari
Since mid-2018, many of our travellers who stayed at Tarangire Safari Lodge have kindly recorded their wildlife sightings and shared them with us. The results are below. Click an animal to see more, and here to see more on our methodology.
- Power supply notes
- There are no charging points in the tents. Batteries and small electronic items can be charged in the main area, when the generator is on between 05:45-10:00 and 18:00-23:00. Once the generator is switched off there are no lights in the tents, although solar powered lamps are provided.
- There is average WiFi in the lounge area and outside terrace.
- TV & radio
- There is no TV or radio here.
- Water supply
- Water supply notes
- Filtered water is supplied for drinking.
Health & safety
- Malarial protection recommended
- Medical care
- Tarangire Safari Lodge has a basic first-aid kit. For more serious cases the nearest large hospital is in Arusha.
- Dangerous animals
- High Risk
- Security measures
- Askaris (Maasai guards) patrol the camp at night.
- Fire safety
- There are fire extinguishers outside each guest tent and dotted around the lodge.
Guided walking safari
Hot air ballooning
- Disabled access
- On Request
- Laundry facilities
- Laundry is available at an extra cost ($1-$3 per item). It is hand washed and line dried so will take a day, dependent on the weather. Undergarments are not accepted.
- There are no safes in the tents or bungalow, but you can give any valuables to reception for safe keeping.
- Accepted payment on location
- Tarangire Safari Lodge accepts payment in cash – either US dollars or pounds sterling. You can also pay with Visa and MasterCard with a 3% surcharge.
Other lodges in Tarangire National Park
Alternative places to stay in this same area.
Oliver's Camp is a small, intimate, luxury tented camp in a great location in northern Tanzania's Tarangire National Park.
For a more private version of its sister property, Oliver’s Camp, Little Oliver’s offers high-quality guiding and tented rooms.
Kuro Tarangire is a stylish tented camp, located in a quiet and remote area deep in Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire Sopa Lodge
Tarangire Sopa Lodge is a large, comfortable, family-friendly hotel in Tarangire National Park, suitable for travellers on a budget.
Get back to basics at Oliver's Fly-Camp, exploring Tarangire National Park on foot and sleeping out in the wilderness.
Lemala Mpingo Ridge
Lemala Mpingo Ridge is a stylish camp in Tarangire National Park, with a beautiful location and elevated views over the park.
Kirurumu Tarangire Lodge is a simple, small, tented camp positioned just outside the northern boundary of Tarangire National Park.
Tarangire Treetops is a lovely, high-quality lodge on the outskirts of Tarangire National Park, offering game drives, night drives and safari walks.
Swala Camp is a stylish camp for exploring the southern Tarangire, either with a private driver-guide, or using the camp's vehicles and guides.
Nimali is a small camp built in contemporary style on the outskirts of Tarangire National Park in northern Tanzania.
Maramboi Tented Camp
Maramboi Tented Camp is a family-friendly tented lodge located between Lake Manyara and Tarangire National Park.
Chem Chem is a luxury tented lodge on a private concession between Lake Manyara and Tarangire national parks.
On an isolated kopje on the western side of Tarangire National Park, Mawe Ninga is an inexpensive, basic safari camp.
Forest Chem Chem
Located in the Chem Chem Concession and close to Tarangire National Park, Forest Chem Chem is a high-quality tented camp which is booked on an exclusive basis.
Little Chem Chem
Little Chem Chem is a stylish option near Tarangire National Park, offering real relaxation combined with a variety of safari activities.